State grants bonuses to employees

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October 21, 2010

11:48 PM

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and the Virginia General Assembly have approved bonuses for salaried staff and faculty at the College of William and Mary.

The uniform 3 percent bonus applies to full and part-time employees at the College. The College has not been able to award bonuses since December 2007. The bonus will be included in employees’ Dec. 1 paycheck.

“This is something the General Assembly approved last year,” College spokesman Brian Whitson said. “Hourly employees were not included in that statewide decision.”

However, College President Taylor Reveley has elected to award the bonus to hourly employees who have worked 1,000 hours between Nov. 1, 2009 and Oct. 31, 2010.

The pay scale for hourly employees has become a high-profile issue at the College since the beginning of the semester. The Living Wage Coalition, which includes several labor and progressive groups on campus, has hosted various events on campus to draw attention to workers’s rights.

LWC members met in the Wren Courtyard early Thursday afternoon to hand deliver petitions and letters to Reveley as part of their effort to raise hourly wages for College staff.

The event was attended by several College staff members who had written letters of their own.

“We outlined the basic demands of the campaign, then we allow people to write what they think,” LWC member KB Brower ’11 said. “I think this is a really emotional issue for a lot of people.”

Brower said that Reveley met with the group as they delivered their letters.

“He said a lot of people are pushing for a lot of things on campus,” she said. “I think this is an issue the whole community is behind.”

Staff members at the event said that current efforts to improve hourly wages “have a lot more pep” than those in the past. Several said that new responsibilities have been added to their duties, but that wages have not reflected the changes.

“The College is making money off [recycling], and we’re not getting paid,” housekeeping staff member John Fulton said.

Although the bonuses will help, Brower said that workers at the College don’t consider it to be enough.

“This is a one-time thing, what’s going to happen next year?” Brower said.

College officials anticipated approval of the bonuses and took it into account when tuition and housing rates increased in May. According to Vice President for Finance Sam Jones ’75 M.B.A.’80, the bonuses do not require any additional action from the College’s Board of Visitors.

The BOV’s decision to raise tuition enabled the College to budget $2.143 million in bonuses for staff and faculty.

“Back in May, those bonuses were contingent on the state having a matching share for that,” Jones said in August. “The state does have a matching share, and those will go in December. We’re glad to be giving them.”

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